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International Moving Terminology

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International Removals Terminology Explained

There are many words and terms used within the industry that may confuse you, and we feel it is very important to let you know what these things mean to ensure complete transparency and understanding of the services you are paying for:

Accreditations

These are the awards, qualifications and groups we are part of. Vastly important to your international relocation, and the primary way of separating out companies that truly know what they are doing. More information

AWB (Air Way Bill)

The Air Way Bill is a very important document when moving to another country. If you’re doing an international removal by air, then this document serves as the airfreight contract for carriage, showing all relevant information about the shipment, such as the shipper and consignee.

Airfreight

The process of moving your items by air. This process is normally more expensive, but much quicker.

BOL (Bill of Lading)

Very similar to the AWB, a very important moving document required for any shipment that acts as a receipt of shipment to show that something has been received by the carrier.

BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor)

When performing an international removal by sea, a large amount of time is spent with your goods on the water. During this time, oil charges can fluctuate and if they fluctuate enough, there may be a surcharge by the shipping line.

Bonded Warehouse

A special warehouse that meets customs specifications, allowing removal goods to be stored pending customs clearance.

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor)

Very similar to the BAF, during the entire process of your relocation, currency fluctuations can occur. If they are large enough, this can warrant a surcharge, usually by destination agents.

Chargeable Weight

The weight used by an airline to determine the airfreight charge.

Consignee

The person/company to whom the shipment is to be delivered. In most cases when performing an international removal, this would be ourselves or our destination agent; but in the event that you have arranged an agent yourself, this would be you or that company.

Consignment

The name given to the entirety of your removal goods. It is normally used to describe your shipment.

Consolidation

When undertaking an international removal where your consignment is less than a full load/container, you may have opted to send your things via groupage/shared load. This is actually how most international removals are done. Consolidation is the period of storage whilst the moving company waits and prepares for the entire load before transportation begins.

Container

A modular steel box that is designed to hold your removal goods during transportation. The usual sizes these are offered for international removals are 20ft, 40ft and 40ft High Cube Containers.

Courier or Kerbside Removal Service

When your international removal involves boxes, luggage or packages only; it is far more cost effective to pay for a courier service, sometimes called a kerbside service. This means that the person collecting and delivering your consignment will be a single person and will not often be insured to enter your property.

Crate

Certain items will require extra protection when moving to another country due to the large distance involved. If required, we can build a secure wooden crate around these items, exactly to specification

Customs

The legal body in charge of formal inspection prior to official entry into the country. Customs will always supersede any international removal company, so please make sure that you read through your relevant country removal advice page.

Customs Clearance

The Customs Inspection Procedure

Declared Value

Referring mainly to international removal insurance, this is the monetary value you declare for all of your belongings.

Deconsolidation

The opposite of consolidation. Once your removal goods arrive in your destination country and are cleared through customs, they will be delivered into deconsolidation where all goods are separated pending final delivery to your new home. This is only applicable on groupage shipments.

Demurrage

Demurrage charges are charged by customs warehouse stations for delays and additional storage. Once goods are being loaded into a container to the point they are deconsolidated or unloaded at destination, they are subject to very strict timescales to ensure vessels leave and arrive on time. Any deviation from this can cause demurrage charges.

Destination Agent

This is the moving company appointed to act on your behalf at destination

Detention Charges

Alternative and specific version of Demurrage Charges

Door to Door Removal Service

An international removal service controlled by the Removal Company from residence to residence. Usually taking care of every part of your international removal.

Dedicated Removal Service

This is where you book a sole vehicle for yourself, adding extra security and care, as well as being in complete control of your dates. This is normally far more expensive, but is much quicker.

Dedicated Dates

Occasionally you can pay a surcharge to ensure that the road vehicle collects and delivers your goods on a specified date to ensure that your own schedule is uninterrupted by your removal service.

Door to Port Removal Service

An international removal service controlled by the Removal Company from residence to port of entry in your destination country. This means that you would need to take care of all services at the end point, usually including customs clearance of your removal goods.

External Elevator

If you’re planning an international relocation, always check the access at both properties. Sometimes items might be too large, and on a floor too high, to move them down the stairs or in an elevator. An external elevator is used by a removal company in order to get access through the window of your property.

Export

Shipping of goods outside country borders

Export Wrapping

Method of packing household removal goods and personal effects for international shipment overseas. This requires additional material and an additional charge from the International Removal Company.

FCL (Full Container Load)

When you require your own dedicated shipping container for your international removal. This allows much greater control of shipping dates and is always the preferred method of transport for people with enough removal goods, or those that want to have greater peace of mind of dates.

Groupage

Groupage is when your removal goods are shared in a large removal container. This is how most international removals are made as it is often far more cost effective. Your goods, once export wrapped, will go into consolidation pending loading, and then at destination, go into deconsolidation once clearing customs. This process does take longer than a dedicated shipping container and it is important to note that a groupage service is always at the liberty of other traffic moving to your destination.

HHG (Household Goods)

Abbreviation for your removal goods.

Inventory

A list of your removal goods

Inspection Fees

Often referred to as Quarantine Inspection Fees and comes under specified names in each country of destination. These fees are charged if your consignment is thoroughly inspected. Inspections are, in the majority of countries, random and an international removal company would not normally cover these charges for you. Some countries such as Australia or the United States will charge these as standard due to high levels of security.

Insurance Premium

The charge for your insurance cover, usually quoted as a percentage of the overall cover required.

IPT (Insurance Premium Tax)

IPT is levied by the Government on all insurance charges. The additional for this will be outlined on all quotations received from Global Moving Services.

Import Duties and Taxes

Fees charged by customs on specific items that you are moving. You can find a list of these items on the relevant country moving advice page.

LCL (Less than Container Load)

When an international removal shipment is not large enough to fill an entire container on its own, it will be loaded into a large crate or liftvan and secured within the larger container, allowing for other goods to be moved also.

Liftvan

A large crate used in the packing of your removal goods

Marine Insurance

International Removal Insurance specifically to cover your belongings during an international removal.

Move Manager / Relocation Manager / Move Coordinator

At Global Moving Services, we define this as the person directly working for you, organising everything for you from the moment you make an enquiry to the point that everything is finally delivered.

Origin Agent

The international removal company handling all services at the beginning of your removal

Port Storage

See Demurrage

PBO (packed by owner)

When an inventory or packing list is completed, for insurance and liability purposes it is important to note who has packaged the removal goods. If something has been packed by you it will always be referred to as PBO. We are one of the only moving companies that can offer you insurance on owner packed items.

Packing List

Very similar to an inventory but usually produced by our packing crew upon origin. This will detail what items our moving crew have packed and collected.

Part Load or Euro Part Load Removal Service

This is similar to a sea groupage shipment but by road transit. Most international removal services by road work in this way and allow for a very cost effective service. Your goods will be shared in a larger removal vehicle moving across land. We are one of the only removal companies that will offer fixed dates for collection and delivery via this method.

Port to Door Removal Service

A service where the international removal company will take care of your removal goods from destination port to your final destination. This often includes customs clearance, but you must always specify with the moving company that you need this as well.

Parking Permit / Parking Suspension

Required at collection or delivery if the local council have to approve the use of a removal vehicle at the property

Replacement Value

Value of your removal goods equal to their replacement cost at destination. This is important to know if you’re a making a claim for insurance.

Ro-Ro (Roll on-Roll off)

Typical method of moving your vehicle if you are not moving any goods. If the removal is solely of a vehicle, you should consider this instead, but if you’re a moving your furniture and possessions, then ideally you would move it in the same container.

SIT (Storage in Transit)

Temporary storage of your removal goods whilst they are technically in transit.

Special Handling

This refers to specialist items not normally found in a standard household consignment. Things such as grand pianos, grandfather clocks or large scale gym equipment. Surcharges must normally be included to cover additional labour or equipment throughout the moving process.

Seafreight

The most frequent method of international removal overseas. Travelling by large sea vessel in a shipping container. This is more cost effective than air shipments but does take a lot longer.

Secure Storage

We offer secure storage, meaning that your removal goods are tightly locked away in liftvans/crates in a temperature controlled facility. Unlike self storage, it is far more difficult to gain access to this and often enquires an appointment if you ever wished to access your removal goods.

Shuttle Vehicle

A smaller vehicle used at collection or delivery if access does not permit the use of the standard large removal vehicle. This will usually cost additional, but if you make us aware of the difficulty it should be factored into your removal quotation

THC (Terminal Handling Charges)

These are charges, usually at port, which cover a range of things such as loading/unloading, crating/uncrating. These charges are normally prevalent on LCL shipments but can be found with other shipments as well. It is important to see whether the removal company cover these charges, as some destinations require that they are paid for by the customer themselves.

Transit Time

The time it takes for your removal goods to move from point A to point B. This will fluctuate depending on the type of international removal service you have booked with the removal company.